The best thing about Mirror's Edge isn't the parkour, the sense of movement and momentum, or even the sharp, bleached-out world that you're moving through beneath a vast sky of Sega blue. It's the doors: the red doors, each one opened not with a polite survival-horror twist of a creaky handle, but with a squeeze of the right trigger and an almighty slam. Doors you aim for at full pelt, doors you pound through, punch through, the clatter of collision accompanying the blinding whiteness that greets you on the other side, before your eyes have time to adjust and before the game pulls you onwards.
Electronic Arts executive Frank Gibeau has hinted that we could see a new Mirror's Edge game built with the Frostbite 2 engine in the future.
EA Games Europe's Patrick Söderlund reckons that Dead Space and Mirror's Edge will be considered "successful" based on their lifetime performance, despite a slow start contributing to a massive loss in the company's third quarter.
At its absolute best, Mirror's Edge transformed bloated, couch-weary gun-lovers into rooftop ballerinas, ennobling those usually-enfeebled and seldom-even-rendered first-person appendages - your character's legs and hands - with the elegance and precision of Super Mario, and not just any Super Mario, but the Super Mario of perfectly vaulted piranha pipes, crouched slides beneath anonymous coin-bearing bricks and perfect, fortress-tall finishing-line breakthroughs. It's little wonder that Faith, pointedly envisaged as a plain-chested spokesrunner for forgotten delight, has already been re-imagined in 2D.
But for many, the game's short campaign and recycled time trial routes were insufficient to bridge the gap between imagination and reality. Elegance was elusive, with precious little time to accumulate experience before the choking urgency of the obnoxiously basic narrative and paralysing combat knocked you back off your feet - tautological clutter in the light of which the smog-free clarity of the game's brilliantly sun-baked play areas felt like something of a cruel joke. It clearly wasn't the punch line DICE had in mind either, because the Pure Time Trial Pack - available for about seven quid on Xbox Live and PSN - is nothing less than a carefully worded apology. I totally accept.
Made up of seven new maps (with two substantial deviations making nine separate tracks), the Pure Time Trial Pack sends you back to school, and this time you really fancy teacher. The first level, Chroma, sets out the pack's stall with a mixture of simple vaults, slides and wall-runs, paying out with a few more reclaimed seconds as you throw in turning jumps and wall-springs, and adjust to ramps and lines that nurture momentum. It's difficult, but 90 seconds should be achievable within a couple of runs if you spent more than a few hours with the main game, and there isn't an air vent, ventilation unit or pipe jungle to be seen. Even the red doors are gone, but you won't realise until someone points it out, even though you really liked them.
EA and DICE will finally release the seven new Time Trial maps for Mirror's Edge today.
EA has delayed the release of the Pure Time Trial Map Pack for Mirror's Edge until next month, but the standalone PS3-exclusive download map "Synethesia" will be released as part of the PlayStation Network update later today.
Electronic Arts has announced that the Mirror's Edge premium downloadable content will be released on 29th January for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.
DICE has prepared the first batch of downloadable content for Mirror's Edge, in the shape of some stylised and very pretty Time Trial maps.